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Preview: Hornets (13-18) at Bruins (31-5)
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Date: November 18, 2013 11:00 PM EDT

UCLA responded in dominant fashion after a challenging game in coach Steve Alford's debut and could get some help as it tries to keep the momentum going.

There's a chance senior forward Travis Wear might return from a recent appendectomy for the No. 22 Bruins against Sacramento State on Monday night.

UCLA (2-0) nearly blew a 13-point lead Nov. 8 against Drexel before pulling out a 72-67 victory. The Bruins had no such problems in a 91-60 win over Oakland on Tuesday.

They outshot the Golden Grizzlies 52.5 percent to 30.8 and outrebounded them 49-28 after losing the rebounding battle against Drexel. Jordan Adams scored a team-best 22 points Tuesday, and fellow sophomore Tony Parker had 21 on 10-of-12 shooting along with 12 rebounds for his first career double-double.


"We still have a long ways to go. We have improved in some areas. We still have a long way to go in most of those areas," Alford said. "But the key in game one to game two is improvement, and we did see some improvement especially at what we want to do defensively."

Alford's team would appear to have plenty of chances to tune up as it won't face a major conference team until playing Northwestern in Las Vegas on Nov. 29. The Bruins won't take on any member of the current Top 25 until facing Duke on Dec. 19 in New York.

UCLA also hopes to get a little healthier in the next couple of weeks.

Wear, the Bruins' third-leading scorer in 2012-13, returned to practice last week and might see some action in this game. He had 14 points in the season opener.

"We do hope to have Travis back," Alford said. "We are hopeful that things go well as we progress with what he does in practice this week. We are hopeful that we will have him for Monday's game."

Wanaah Bail will likely need at least another week to complete his recovery from knee surgery while fellow freshman Noah Allen remains out indefinitely. Allen needed surgery after suffering multiple facial fractures in a collision with an Oakland player Tuesday.

Even short-handed, the Bruins should have a good chance to get past Sacramento State (1-1). The Hornets are facing a ranked team for the first time since an 82-51 drubbing at then-No. 10 Marquette on Dec. 15, 2007.

They are coming off a 74-66 loss at Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday despite Dylan Garrity tying a career high with 22 points. Sacramento State shot 40.4 percent.

UCLA won 86-56 in the only matchup with Sacramento State on Dec. 23, 2005.

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